Compost is an easy to prepare and effective fertilizer that is obtained from plant and food waste. The decomposed organic matter improves the soil structure and nourishes the plants. But to achieve the desired effect, compost must be applied correctly.
Properly prepared compost, when used correctly, can replace fertilizers. Coarse undecomposed fibers are crushed with a shovel to make the compost homogeneous in structure. And only after that it is introduced into the soil in the garden.
Composting to a depth of 5 cm
In spring and summer, mature compost is scattered over the surface of the earth and carefully dug up to a depth of 5 cm. In this case, the compost can be applied both to clean soil and to overgrown with weeds. In the second method, the weeds are chopped up with a shovel and mixed well with compost.
Applying unripe compost
In late summer – early autumn, liquid fertilizer can be prepared from unripe compost, which lasts 2-3 months. To do this, fill 2/3 of any container with immature, but already blackened compost, add 1/3 with water, close it tightly with a lid and leave in a warm place for three days. After this time, adult tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes are watered with fertilizer.
To achieve the maximum effect, while watering the tomatoes, several stalks of nettle or wormwood can be added to the resulting infusion. This organic fertilization reduces the risk of developing common diseases of this crop.
In addition, in the fall, when preparing the beds (usually in October), it is recommended to introduce unripe compost into heavy clay soil. Throughout the winter, organic matter will rot, serve as food for earthworms, and by spring will make the soil loose and nutritious.
Also, unripe compost is suitable for autumn mulching of soil under fruit trees and berry bushes over 5 years of age and without damage to the bark. The fact is that rotting processes continue in unripe compost, which can destroy weakened, young and diseased plants. For such green pets, it is better to use mulch in the form of sawdust, fallen needles, straw.
In the spring, the compost that has rotted over the winter is dug onto a half-bay of a shovel.
Compost is an excellent base for the soil in which seedlings are grown. But keep in mind: only completely rotted compost is suitable for this, in which the decay processes have already ended. Otherwise, young plants may die.
Also in the fall, semi-ripe compost can be laid in tall beds. Then in the spring they will warm up faster in the sun.
The compost of the first year of maturity contains a lot of nitrogen, so this fertilizer is not recommended for crops that can accumulate nitrates. These are radishes, spinach, beets, lettuce, Swiss chard. But 1-2-year-old compost is perfect for plants that are demanding on nutrients: cucumbers, cabbage, zucchini, celery, pumpkin.
Soil made from compost alone may not be nutritious enough. It contains a large amount of such an important element as nitrogen, but very little magnesium and calcium. Therefore, it is advisable to additionally enrich the compost beds with minerals: you can add any fertilizer recommended for growing a specific crop.
Use of compost depending on the destination
In the garden, garden and flower garden, compost is used in different ways. In this matter, it is not enough to know the general rules of feeding.
On the beds, it is best to add compost in the fall for digging. This technique increases soil fertility. If you did not have time to do this in time, you can add well-ripened compost in the spring at the time of sowing – just pour it into the grooves or embed it shallowly into the soil.
When planting cabbage and tomato seedlings, add one handful of compost to each hole. Then the seedlings will take root better and start growing faster.
In the near-trunk circles of fruit trees in the spring, apply compost to a depth of 10 cm around the crown perimeter.To feed the shrubs (currants, gooseberries, honeysuckle), apply compost in late autumn, but do not cover it, but simply sprinkle it over the surface of the frozen ground and sprinkle it with peat.
Ornamental shrubs also respond well to compost feeding. In late autumn, mulch lilac, mock orange and hydrangea, like berry bushes, on frozen soil. This will save you the trouble of feeding your ornamental plants in early spring.
Garden roses also love compost in the form of mulch. This fertilizer provides nutrition, retains moisture and inhibits weed growth. But it is used only in spring and summer. In late autumn (before wintering), it is impossible to sprinkle roses with compost, because this can lead to an infectious plant burn.
Feeding container plants
To increase soil fertility, remove the top layer and replace it with mature compost. When watering plants in pots, nutrients along with water will penetrate into the deep layers of the earth and become available to the roots.